Council meetings to remain at Shaw Auditorium

City council unanimously approved a motion by Coun. Fred Pattje to keep committee of the whole meetings at the Shaw Auditorium so the meetings can continue to be recorded and uploaded to the city’s website.

The COW meetings, which generally take place on alternate Mondays from regular televised council meetings, have historically been held in the tight confines of the board room at city hall.

Last winter the meetings were temporarily moved to the Shaw Auditorium in anticipation of moving them to the new annex when it is complete next month.

That plan drew resistance from city watchdogs, who complained the new annex is not equipped with recording equipment, and with more delegates appearing before council the new space is not able to accommodate them.

In April, council approved a motion that COW meetings be recorded and available on the Internet.

The cost to equip the new board room at the annex with recording equipment is estimated at $90,000, and city management did not recommend the expense in the 2013 draft budget.

“I wasn’t sure I’d get the support but as it turns out it was unanimous,” said Pattje.

Council cannot pass bylaws at COW meetings, but still makes decisions on city finance and policy issues.

Meetings can be viewed at by clicking on council agendas/minutes/video under public notices.

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